Breast Cancer – Self Screening for Early Action
A lot of times we tend to ignore small or big changes in our body & tend to ignore our self & our health. A lot of times things turn out to be fine, but well, not 100% of times. I have learnt this lesson at the time I was trying to get pregnant that sometimes ignoring small changes or not taking action on time can sometimes lead to huge medical issues & can end up in physical, emotional & financial hardships in life. Thus, when a few days I started to feel some changes in my breast, it freaked me out. I started to talk to people who know more about Breast Cancer & started to read about it. I realized I did not know as much as I or anyone ideally should know to be able to detect & take timely action on this matter. Thus, I decided to share my learning with you all so that I play my role in spreading the word as much as I individually can.
Technically speaking Breast Cancer is a cancer that develops from breast tissues. Signs of Breast Cancer may include a lump in the breast, fluid oozing from the nipples, dimpling of the skin or red scaly patch of skin. The number of cases are ion a rise & more and more younger women are being diagnosed with breast cancer. More than 47% diagnosed women are below 50 years of age. Thus with the rise of the number of cases, the rise in awareness is also a must.
Signs & Symptoms of Breast Cancer
In more than 80% diagnosed cases, the diagnose is made when a lump is discovered – a typical lump that feels different from rest of the breast tissues. Lumps discovered in lymph nodes which is under the arm pit is also indicative of Breast cancer. In few cases it is diagnosed in mammogram during regular health checkups. Sometimes change in size of breast, a nipple changing it’s position & inflammation & pain in breast is also an indicative of Breast Cancer. So what can we do to make sure that we detect such cases on time to be able to take timely treatment & action? The answer is regular Self Screening.
Breast Cancer Self Exam
Women above 30 are encouraged to do a self examination once every month to make sure that they are able to detect any lumps early on. How? Here is a guideline for it :
- In front of the mirror – Visually examine the breast with your hands on the side & then stretched overhead. Look for change in position, any change in size, swelling, dimpling in the skin or changes in nipples.
- In the shower – using the tips of your fingers, move them in a circular motion from outside to center for the whole breast & armpits on both sides. See if you can feel any hard knot, lump or thickening.
- Lying Down – While in lying down position, the breast tissues spread outwards thus any lumps deep inside become east to be felt & discovered. Place a pillow under the shoulder & with the tips of your finger moving them around in circular motion try to feel if there is any lump.
Use different variants of pressure – Light, moderate & firm. Squeeze the nipples to check if there is a discharge or lumps there.
If you discover a lump, don’t panic. 8 out of 10 lumps are not cancerous or life threatening & are easily removable. But the first thing to do is report to your doctor & get a mammogram scheduled to rule out all possibilities or be to able to take action on time!
Just Remember – Early detection can save a life. This could be your life or life of your sister, friend, mother, wife, your maid, your boss or an aunt. So spread the word & become Pink Ribbon ambassadors. Every women you know, tell her about self test & urge them to take a self test every month.
This blog is a part of a blog train written on several topics pertaining to Women Health & Wellness. Thank you Surbhi for introducing me. You can read Surbhi’s blog HERE. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter for more updates.
Suggested Reading – If you are wondering how to talk to your young daughter or any other young child know about Puberty read my article on – Talking to Young Girls About Puberty (click for direct link)